February 2022 brought us Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week and working in conjunction with Knowsley Council and Merseyside Police we were asked to supply taxis in the area for the #askforangela campaign that is a UK wide initiative. It is a scheme where vulnerable people can approach security supervisors and bar staff in nightclubs, pubs and bars using the above phrase without alerting the person causing the concern to that particular individual.
With taxis being a major contributor to the night time economy and highly visible, they were chosen as the ideal medium to highlight this important issue that some members of the public have suffered when enjoying a night out.
The week raises awareness of sexual abuse and sexual violence and helps to highlight specialist support available for victims.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said:
“We are dedicated to the safety of our residents and work closely with our partners to do all we can to ensure their protection within our communities. Sadly however, we know that incidents of rape or sexual violence occur so it’s vitally important that those who have experienced these crimes know there is support available and how to access it.”
If you have been affected by sexual assault/ and or abuse or rape support and information is available from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre.
Knowsley council is currently working with Merseyside Police, the hospitality sector, taxi drivers and security staff to help women feel safe and have an enjoyable time when out during the evening in Huyton, Prescot and Kirkby – they agree that women have a Right to the Night. Knowsley was recently awarded almost £190,000 from the Home Office, to fund a project that will improve the safety of women and girls at night in the borough.
The funding is being used to ensure additional policing resources are in the area, specifically during the evening in Huyton Village Centre, and Prescot and Kirkby Town Centres where there is a growing night-time economy. If someone feels harassed, intimidated, unsafe, vulnerable, or threatened they are urged to speak to a police officer who can help ensure their safety and tackle the person or people causing concern.
Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, continued:
“This additional investment allows us to provide extra resources and offer a reassuring presence. We will continue to work with Merseyside Police, local businesses, community groups and others, to ensure women and girls in our borough feel safe as they go about their day to day lives.”